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Big IHG Rewards Club devaluation on the way with top hotels up 10,000 points

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IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn / Crown Plaza / InterContinental loyalty scheme, has (accidentally?) posted the list of hotels changing reward category this year on its website.

You can see the list here.

It is, frankly, a bit of a nightmare.

Here are a few UK examples:

InterContinental London Park Lane – up from 60,000 to 70,000 points per night

Crowne Plaza London The City – up from 50,000 to 55,000 points per night

Holiday Inn Mayfair – up from 40,000 to 50,000 points per night

Hotel Indigo Liverpool – up from 30,000 to 40,000 points per night

Holiday Inn Maidenhead Windsor – up from 25,000 to 35,000 points per night

On the upside, the Holiday Inn Northampton, pictured below, drops from 25,000 to 20,000 points per night.

Some sample European hotels:

InterContinental Amsterdam – up from 50,000 to 60,000 points per night

Holiday Inn Amsterdam Arena Towers – up from 25,000 to 35,000 points per night

InterContinental Paris Le Grand – up from 60,000 to 70,000 points per night

InterContinental Bordeaux – up from 45,000 to 55,000 points per night

The rises are not across the board.  None of the InterContinental or Crowne Plaza hotels in Germany or Portugal are changing, for example.  Five hotels in Turkey see 5,000 point falls.

In the US there are also rises for the key InterContinental properties amongst others:

InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco – up from 60,000 to 70,000 points per night

InterContinental Boston – up from 60,000 to 70,000 points per night

InterContinental New York The Barclay – up from 60,000 to 70,000 points per night

InterContinental New York Times Square – up from 60,000 to 70,000 points per night

The unintended side effect is that these InterContinental hotels are now MORE attractive than they were, because a random 10,000 points has also been added to cheaper hotels in the same cities.  Why would you spend 50,000 points on the Holiday Inn Express New York Chelsea when the IC’s are ‘only’ 70,000 points?

To be fair ….

Hotel loyalty schemes SHOULD devalue.  

Most people don’t accept this, but it is logical.  They give you points based on what you spend.  As inflation pushes up the cost of rooms, and so the number of points awarded per stay increases, you should expect the number of points needed for a redemption to go up in parallel.  This keeps the ratio of ‘number of stays needed to get a free night’ in balance.

The problem is that the points required for redemptions always seem to increase well above inflation.  It wasn’t that long ago – 10 years? – when you could book any InterContinental hotel for 30,000 points per night.

Look at spending vs redeeming ….

As it happens, IHG Rewards Club has been running generous Accelerate bonus point promotions for the last few years – the current one is outlined in this article.  It has been relatively easy to accumulate large numbers of bonus points.  Most of us would be worse off if redemption rates stayed the same but IHG stopped all of its promotional activity.

Whether promotions like Accelerate cause redemption inflation is another question of course.


I have historically used a valuation range of 0.4p to 0.5p for IHG Rewards Club points.  Going forward, I will move to a flat 0.4p per point.  That may still be a touch too high, since it implies a £280 per night price for a top InterContinental – albeit at peak dates you will see pricing well above that.

Looking at hotel credit cards, the Hilton Honors Platinum Visa is now far more valuable than the IHG Rewards Club MasterCardI value the two Hilton points per £1 from the Visa at 0.66p (0.33p each).  This compares to 0.4p for the one IHG Rewards Club point per £1 earned on their MasterCard.

It is still worth getting the free IHG credit card, of course, because it gives you permanent Gold status in IHG Rewards Club.  Just don’t spend on it.

The IHG Rewards Club Premium MasterCard remains a decent deal at two points (worth 0.8p) per £1 spent.  The £99 annual fee can be justified by the free Platinum status in IHG Rewards Club and the free night at any hotel you receive for spending £10,000 in a year.


We don’t know when this new pricing will take effect.  I would expect IHG to give a few weeks notice so there is no need to make any panic bookings.  That said, as points bookings can be cancelled without penalty, you should look to lock it any nights you need now before prices go up.

I recommend you take a look at the list of hotels changing price (click here) on the IHG website and see what bookings you may want to pencil in.

IHG One Rewards update – June 2022:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering bonus base points on all cash stays between 18th May and 31st August.  You earn double points on your 2nd to 5th nights, triple points on your 6th to 14th nights and quadruple base points from your 15th night. Our full article is here. Click here to register.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (89)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mikeact says:

    The ‘Good old days’ are well and truly disappearing with loyalty schemes generally.

    • the real harry1 says:

      istr Raffles has a working theory that loyalty schemes fluctuate in terms of generosity in line with how well/ badly the economy is going – shame most of us are feeling the pinch with earnings not going up enough to keep pace with inflation, but the [surviving] businesses concerned are doing pretty well

      hence the meanness creeping in

      anyway, that means the good old days could be back with the next cyclical downturn [might not have too long to wait, nightmare scenario for the UK sees Brexit talks breaking down, UK turfed out on WTO terms & businesses re-locating staff to EU bases, Corbyn in power for 5 years voted in with massive unaffordable student bribes, huge round of re-nationalisations…!]

      revenue-based loyalty on BA to look forward to…might not affect me except minimally

      then AF + KLM Flying Blue joining forces with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club later this year could be good news?

      Happy New Year!

      • Alex W says:

        That really is the stuff of nightmares Harry! Looking forward to the virgin KLM tie up though as KLM flies from Bristol.

        • the_real_a says:

          And Humberside. Game changer, and the reason i’m racking up the virgin miles before they pull the credit card.

  • Simon D says:

    Slightly O/T… we are thinking of making a trip to NYC in April and will fund with IHG points. Was thinking of the IC Times Square, but it looks a little underwhelming for the cost. Has anyone stayed in the Crowne Plaza? Thanks

    • mvcvz says:

      I’ve stayed at CP Times Square a couple of times. Both stays absolutely fine, with no issues at all. Don’t expect any recognition or upgrade for Spire Elite, and the breakfast – whilst very good – can be a bit chaotic and overcrowded at times. But location is second to none for all Manhattan activities. So well worth it in my view.

      • Robert says:

        Not sure what you mean by no recognition. I’ve stayed there on a number of occasions both as Platinum and recently as Spire. Status always been recognised at check in, always been upgraded, always received a $10 breakfast voucher (in fact on one occasion they gave me a free breakfast), and drink vouchers for the bar which pretty much cover any drink you like.

        • CV3V says:

          None of which is guaranteed, which is the main point. What you received others didn’t.

        • Optimus Prime says:

          On the other hand I’ve never received an upgrade with Hilton and I have gold elite status.

          Actually with our first stay (cash booking) in Brussels City during the August Bank Holiday we were given a room smaller than Harry Potter’s at uncle Vermont’s.

          BTW I think someone here mentioned they’re looking to go to Hawaii with Hilton Points.Just in case they’re thinking of throwing a Hilton weekend certificate voucher into the equation: they don’t accept it 🙁

        • mvcvz says:

          I mean exactly what I said. No recognition of Spire Elite – no room upgrade, no breakfast vouchers (we had paid for breakfast as part of the room rate), no drinks vouchers; no bonus points. Not sure what you mean by “not sure what you mean”.

        • Andy says:

          Same here. 2x$10 b/fast vouchers, buffet very nice. Drinks vouchers for all three nights we were there and upgraded room.

      • Premier01 says:

        As Platiunum we received good Platinum recognition, drinks vouchers and a triple upgrade from King City view-relatively pricey $ 200 advance rate- room to Penthouse Suite on 48th floor with amazing Times Square views!

        Great pool also!

    • Gareth says:

      The new crowne plaza hy36 midtown is getting good reviews

    • Andrew says:

      You can get better value for points by staying slightly further out. I’ve stayed at the Holiday Inn Long Island City _ Manhattan View a few times now – it’s just a relatively short hop to Times Square.

      (The last time I was there we treated ourselves to one of the suites, it came with an absolutely huge balcony – say 20sq metres, with clear views over to Manhattan).

      • Matthew Clark says:

        Agree long Island is close and a great deal. Very quick connections.
        Ive used HGI Long Island Queens Borough Bridge a couple of times close to a metro that takes you straight to manhattan.

      • the_real_a says:

        The bronx holiday inn express is 10k and 2 minutes from a subway line 🙂

        • Dr Tom says:

          But the 2* reviews on TripAdvisor and the advice not to leave the hotel after 10pm are rather a downer.

        • the_real_a says:

          Tongue firmly in cheek 🙂

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I stayed there last year for a few days over Easter. Got a $10 breakfast voucher, usually $30 or $40 and the kids ate free, so was well worth breakfast for the 3 of us for $10. Room was a box, but we used it to sleep in.

    • Kiran says:

      I’ve stayed at both (IC in 2015, CP in 2017), was Spire for both. No recognition at IC, given a mid-level floor standard room that was ‘compact’ (but probably good for NYC). The location is a bit quieter (it’s on the edge of Hell’s Kitchen and a block away from Times Square) and it’s on top of a subway station. The CP gave us a large (non-suite) top-floor room with views into Times Square which was a lot larger than the IC offering. Also got cocktail vouchers and the reduced $10 breakfast cards. Feels more lively in the lobby with a decent bar. A block away from the subway.

      TLDR: As a Spire with no IC Ambassador status I preferred the CP but both are well-located.

    • Barry cutters says:

      I did 4 nights redemption at the CP TS in may on the back of Graham’s reccomendation. I got a pretty decent corner room with ts views .
      We were given drink& snack vouchers and points on arrival. Breakfast was busy but very good costing $10pp via SE voucher. – I don’t know if this applies to all status holders. It’s a central ts hotel so you can’t expect any better really . If you want something funky and boutique then this isn’t for you , but if you want something central, convenient, and free on points then go for it . The cash fares were $300usd per night when I stayed .

    • S***o says:

      Only thing going at the IC Times square is the location in my opinion.
      Spire and no real recognition, welcomed as spire but no upgrade or vouchers.

      I’d spend the money on a independent hotel next time! – Not that I was overly impressed with NY either!

  • Craig Paolozzi says:

    Crowne plaza vilamoura is going up

  • Liz says:

    On the upside I will save 15k for our 3 nights in the CP at Alice Springs in May. On the downside it will cost me a lot more points when I come to book our next USA road trip for 2019.

    • Kinkell says:

      I had already booked 10 nights on points in IHG properties for our USA trip in September- a couple up , one down and the rest the same, so it”s not all bad. We’re heading to Denver ,(241 F). then driving the circle to Yellowstone.

      • Janeyferr says:

        I have 10 nights booked in the USA in May. All nights will be going up 10k.

        I’m using almost all my airmile and hotel points for it, so glad to not miss out.

      • Liz says:

        @Kinkell – that’s the trip I will be booking May/June time for next year. Fly in to Denver and do a complete square drive down through Colorado, the canyons in Utah, up through Wyoming across Montana, down through S Dakota and Nebraska and back to Denver. Done a bit of research already to work out the route but need to get it all worked out for places to stop.

        • Doug M says:

          Did Yellowstone last August. Really fantastic, allow as much time as you can spare there. Mount Rushmore pretty good, and I enjoyed Little Big Horn and the talks there, if your time/route allows. Done lots of Utah and northern Az before, jaw dropping scenery. I did the Yellowstone trip from Minneapolis, so managed to squeeze in Fargo, Duluth and Lake Superior too. Fabulous, my only regret is it didn’t last longer. It was bike week in Sturgis SD too, didn’t know there were that many Harley’s in the world.

        • Kinkell says:

          @Liz- happy to talk ( Rob ..any chance you can give Liz my email address…is that possible? Ta) We are heading north, round the top and down! decided to avoid SLC!

        • Liz says:

          We’ll be looking at doing a month. Will do Fargo and Minneapolis and Lakes on another trip! So many states to cover – 29 so far and counting!

        • Jon says:

          I also did something kind of similar in May last year. Flight to Denver, drove to Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Grand canyon, Albuquerque and back up to Denver. Really fun!

    • Liz says:

      That’s what we do – go for 15-20K redemptions where we can get them. We don’t mind being out of town a bit to get cheaper hotels as we always have the car anyway. In Albuquerque we got upgraded to a huge 2 bedroom suite and I think it was only 15K and we got free food at night – burgers, salads, drinks, also in Richmond we got upgraded to a huge room and it was only 10k!
      I didn’t know that map existed so I will save it for future planning!

    • RussellH says:

      That is a REALLY useful link! Many thanks.

  • Chris says:

    From my point of view I’m questioning whether or not Accelerate is the most generous promo out there. For me at a quick glance on paper it is because it offers the highest amount of points – 52k for ten paid nights, however when I factor in the hoops I’ve got to jump through and the detours I have to do to get it I’m not so sure particularly when you consider I need to do 2x 2 nighters covering a Saturday, staying at four different HIs plus a points and cash night to get the full total.

    The truth is IHG have also devalued these promotions big time. The first one they done three or four years ago now I was offered 157k for ten nights. I’ve also had offers which bear no resemblance to my current stay patterns or stay history that Just put me off altogether. Even if I was to get every available point out of the current promo I wouldn’t have enough as get one night in a good CP in London.

    This quarter Hiltons promo feels far more attractive to me. For the same ten paid nights I can stay in a hotel I want to stay in on a night of the week that suits me and walk away with 40k. If you assume that the average IHG hotel charges £10 per day for breakfast I’m also saving (admittedly my expense account) £100 cash. I’ll admit that I’m one of the fortunate ones where the changes Hilton made last year has actually worked for me which changes my opinion somewhat. We don’t have kids and are more likely to take Holidays outwith the “peaks” which is when we would use points.

    Some of the changes are laughable. Indigo Liverpool at 40k? HI Edinburgh at 40k? We had our Christmas night out at the latter and work paid for the rooms, if I had paid it personally I’d have have filed a complaint.

    I agree that devaluations need to happen and I think the problem with IHG has been that the 50k cap was there for so long due to the economy that the hike to 70k feels so severe. As Rob says though all they are doing is making them look more attractive as 40k for an HIX is not appealing to me.

    • Genghis says:

      Sorry to use a cliche but there’s lots of low hanging fruit still with Accelerate. I’ll get 11,500 points for a one night stay next week, a c.32% return by my calcs. I think that’s decent.

      • Chris says:

        Yes I should have acknowledged that there are some components that I will do. I just don’t think the “wow” factor is there for me with it anymore and the full amount at times isn’t worth going for. My achieve all tasks bonus is for an extra 8k. It’s hardly exciting me but I do realise the promo still has a lot of appeal for some. Just not me in it’s current guise.

        • John says:

          That’s the problem when promos are personalised. As for the hotels increasing to 40K, obviously they are either getting too many redemptions and want to discourage them, or they think people are willing to pay these amounts.

    • JamesB says:

      The secret to to maximise IHG success …pay a little, earn a lot, redeem the lot, cancel the accout, join again, repeat, tepeat etc.

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Do you mean cancel your IHG account or IHG Credit card? Wonder if “new IHG accounts” get better promos then.

        • JamesB says:

          Yes, close the IHG rewards club account when you have no stays planned and and verh few points left. After joining again as a new member the earning opportunities are better. The difficult part is closing your account, just have to be foreceful with them and make sure they do close it because you don’t want to be stuck with two IHG accounts.

  • Thomas says:

    I think Accelerate and IHG in general gets far too much credit on H4P. Sure there’s the odd easy Accelerate target but the base earning stinks compared with Hilton bearing in mind redemption rates.

    At top status (Diamond / Spire):
    – 5 nights in a standard Hilton (~140 eur/night) = ~30k points – one night in a standard UK property, often incl. some of the outer London properties e.g. Docklands, Greenwich

    – 5 nights @ IC Frankfurt = ~ 15k ihg points – nowhere near a redemption! After two weeks you can now afford a single night in a HIX, big deal…

    Factoring in the free breakfast with Gold, Hilton wins hands down. What use is Accelerate if the base earning is ~half as good as Hilton?

    • Gareth says:

      I agree with this to a degree in the sense of hotel benefits are much more prevelant in Hilton and from experience feel more like guaranteed benefits – plus it is nice when the staff thank you for being a diamond member(as self centred as that sounds)!
      My only issue with Hilton currently would be their variable reward stay cost versus the static element at IHG, the Hilton variable has never worked better for me- own experience obviously

    • John says:

      Both IHG Spire and Hilton Diamond earn exactly 20 points per US$ (with the option to convert some to airline miles at a rate that is usually poor, and not including points if you pay using the co-branded card).

      So please explain how one would earn 30,000 base points for spending 700 euros in one chain and half that in another? And who on earth pays 140 euros a night to stay at a standard Hilton unless you are booking a suite or eating dinner in the hotel?

      IHG has a lot more low-range redemption options than Hilton. Some IHG properties are rising to 70K, but the equivalent properties with Hilton are already 95K.

      • Chris says:

        They didn’t mention base points in their post!

        With the current promos/my way etc all lumped together five nights at €140 will actually get you more than 30k in HH points, the promo alone will get you 20k.

      • Brian says:

        Depends on the definition of a ‘standard’ Hilton. You’d find it tough to find a half-decent hotel in London for less than 140 euros. Yes, there are offers, but that’s not a bad price. I’d pay 140 euros for the Hilton in Berlin, which has a great location, good Lounge and is no more expensive than other similar hotels in that area.

      • Thomas says:

        1) I’m looking at my actual points earnings for stays in Dec. Fair enough there’s a HH promotion being applied, but then again most of the year there’s a double/triple points offer. With IHG there’s a reasonable chance your Accelerate offer stinks.
        2) Hilton Frankfurt City (full Fitness First available incl. 25 m pool, exec lounge), Hilton Kilmainham (Dublin). Non-UK Hiltons can actually be good.

        In London at least many of the decent Hilton options (e.g. Hilton Bankside) are cheaper than the IHG equivalents.

        • Chris says:

          That’s the way I work it out as well (factoring in the promo points). I also do the same with accelerate (divide the full total by the nights required to achieve it) in order to work out if it’s worth my while.

          €140 is circa £120 which isn’t an exceptionally high rate in the grand scheme of things.

      • CV3V says:

        Factor in free breakfast at Hilton’s for Diamond and Golds, and lounge access for Diamonds and Hilton often works out as a better deal than an IHG hotel.

        Btw some of the best breakfasts I have had have been at Hilton’s (!), for free! Hilton Gatwick gave a great breakfast and service, ditto Conrad London and Hilton Berlin. The HIX powdered scrambled eggs just don’t compare.

        • RussellH says:

          HIE scrambled eggs certainly do compare – with Plaster of Paris…

    • Rob says:

      I see the page views and anything on Hilton and IHG gets disproportionately more interest than Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, Best Western etc.

      • Prins Polo says:

        Agree with a lot of the above. The IC brand is as exciting for me as BA’s Club World product, but it’s often my choice because it actually is present in the cities that I go to, as opposed to SPG or Hyatt (which I prefer but which generally have few properties in Europe).

  • BrianN says:

    Hi Rob, it would be appreciated if you could run even a “bits” in an article when you get the date these changes apply from.

    The hotel I want to book is going up again this time to 50,000 (from 40,000). Only recently went up from 35,000 to 40,000.

    So was hoping to get an advance booking in before the changes if possible but the dates not available to book yet.


    • Kathy says:

      Yes, a hotel I was hoping to stay at has gone from 35k a night a couple of years ago to 50k a night. I’m only an occasional traveller, though willing to do the odd mattress run for accelerate, and unfortunately the effort of earning points is simply not going to be worth it for me.

      Especially as IHG is not necessarily the cheapest hotel chain.

  • Alex Metcalfe says:

    Very well timed article. The hotel I’m looking at in Copenhagen is going up from 25k to 35k. Best get those rooms booked asap!

    • Andy says:

      The Crowne Plaza? I’m not sure what it’s like now, but I had a great few nights there as Spire. Lounge access, upgraded room for two nights, and then a top floor suite upgrade on the last night (always worth mentioning a birthday!). The hotel is a little bit out, but very convenient access to public transport.

      • Walty says:

        +1 Great hotel. Great benefits. Fantastic lounge

      • Alex Metcalfe says:

        Yep – thanks all for the comments. Stayed here previously but only as Gold. Will be Spire this time.

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